June 14, 2016

Activities that Feed my Spirit - Ruth L. Snyder

I have come to realize that some activities are almost as important to me as breathing. Music and taking pictures of nature - enjoying beauty, are two activities that feed my spirit. I also enjoy baking and crafts - sewing, knitting, crocheting, and cross stitch, but crafts have had to take a back-seat while I raise my children. My kids encourage me to bake often!

A selection of pies I made

 Steve Bell describes beauty this way:
"I think beauty is one of the touchstones that everyone can relate to. You see a great sunset and, believer or non-believer, at that point you're connecting to something you know deep in your soul, which is far beyond something you know in your head. And music has the ability to connect people...like a sunset can, or a great vista...it's a tool to bring people to a sense of transcendence. There is something beyond me happening here." (Why do we hunger for beauty?)
 My parents are both musical. My dad played an E-flat alto horn - similar to a french horn, but with a larger mouthpiece. He also whistled, and sang bass. I heard my mom play accordion and piano, and she also talked about playing a sousaphone in a marching band during her school years. We spent many hours singing as a family, during family devotions, at church, and while traveling. I learned how to sing both soprano and alto from listening to my mom.

As a young child, I remember longing for the opportunity to learn how to play the piano. My parents were missionaries and moved frequently, so we didn't have a piano for many years. However, when I was nine I attended school for a year in Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe). Although my siblings and I were five hundred miles away from our parents, one benefit was that I was able to take piano lessons. In one year I learned enough that I was placed at the grade two level when we came back to North America. I'm thankful I was able to continue all the way through completing grade 10 piano and theory.

Today I share my love of music by playing at our church, leading our church choir, accompanying and singing in the Elk Point Community Choir, and teaching private piano lessons as well as Music for Young Children.

My dad was a printer, but one of his hobbies was taking pictures, developing, and printing them himself. (This was when you had to load film into your camera and pictures were developed using chemicals in a darkroom.) Since we lived in southern Africa at the time, we were able to go to game parks where animals like lions, giraffe, and crocodiles lived in their natural habitat. Although I didn't enjoy having to sit still for what seemed like hours, I did enjoy watching the images come to life in the dark room. My dad also took many pictures of the beautiful African sunsets - even in black and white they looked amazing.

Today I often take walks and snap pictures as I go. When we travel, I take my Sony a200 with me. I have also been asked to take pictures at events like anniversaries, motorcycle Sunday at our church, the Elk Point Dinner Theatre, and of course, our InScribe Fall Conference. Nature is still my favourite subject.

Pink-tipped roses

Winter beauty

Sunrise from my window

Elk at dusk in Jasper

I also shared a post on my personal blog today of some pictures I took on my iPhone during my morning walk. You can check it out at http://ruthlsnyder.com/a-little-slice-of-heaven/#.V2AiTmZ_w7w.

What feeds your spirit? How do you enjoy and share beauty?


  1. Ruth,

    What a delightful glimpse into your life growing up and seeing how music, photography and the beauty of nature has always been a life-giving aspect of your life. What a legacy from your parents.

    The photos you share are exquisite. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favourite, but I find myself leaning toward the winter scene (I love blue and white and winter), and the Jasper scene at dusk is stunning! Did you have to wait a long time for that elk or was he already posing? It's perfect!

    Brenda :)

  2. Brenda,
    I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the pictures. Although I don't particularly enjoy winter, one of my favourite things about the season is the hoar frost. I took several shots of the Jasper scene, but all withing about fifteen minutes. The elk certainly posed perfectly for me :)

  3. I love your title, Ruth, "Activities That Feed My Spirit." You are a busy lady, and I am sure that God is blessing you as you use your gifts for his glory. It's interesting to hear of the gifts you have adopted and adapted from your parents.

    1. Thanks, Sharon
      Yes, it is interesting. Our parents give us our first exposure to many things and I'm thankful for the beauty they shared with me.

  4. I can't say that I like baking but I'm glad someone likes it!

    1. Those of us who bake need people who enjoy eating our wares 😀


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